Business Ethics in Totalitarian Countries Analytical Essay
In a totalitarian government, the state exercises its power by developing a political structure that it can use to exert its power in such a way that it controls all aspects of the public and private life of its citizens (Armstrong, 2002). This type of government attempts to control the thoughts and actions of its citizens as well as the social-economic aspects of the state.
In addition, this kind of a government is mainly maintained through control of the mass and social media, the outrageous use of fear upon the citizens, monopolizing the economy, and closely monitoring its citizens. Business in such regimes can have its pros and cons as shall be discussed below.
Business ethics is a structure of certified ethics in the company that investigates and maintains all moral or ethical problems that may come up in the work atmosphere (Koehn, 2002). It is usually used by the company to ensure that all the areas in the company are regulated and monitored. The government on the other hand uses the laws and regulations of the state to ensure that it points businesses in directions that will benefit both the state and the business.
These ethics are used to monitor areas that the government is not able to monitor within the company. This therefore means that the state where the company conducts its business must approve of the company’s actions. Without approval, the company simply cannot conduct any form of business.
A company can only be able to sustain itself if it makes a reasonable amount of profit. Similarly, it is only ethical for a company to do business in a country if its profits are greater than its expenses.
However, a company must also assess the profitability of working in a region where there are moral reservations against the government with which they’re supposed to co-operate with in order to conduct business (Boldrin&Levin, 2008). Totalitarian governments are known to be bureaucratic and corrupt due to the power structure that exists.
Additionally, identifying what else a company values other than profits or revenue is also equally important. If a company values and adheres to its moral codes, it may be difficult to uphold these moral standards as some of the moral convictions might be lost along the way. This is due to the allowances that one must make in trying to avoid the power structure of a totalitarian government.
However, there is an upside to doing business in totalitarian states. This is because in totalitarian states, competition between exporters and importers is restricted. Payment for imported goods is usually dependent on governmental decisions (Pinnington, Macklin &Campbell, 2007).
The type of totalitarianism a country or region experiences largely influences a countries business growth rate and thus this determines whether foreign or local investment is profitable. For instance in countries such as China where right wing totalitarianism is experienced, the country is able to record a hefty growth rate and pursue pro-business policies by privatizing state owned properties. This has in turn attracted foreign direct investment (Singer, 2000).
Investing in a totalitarian state can be an extremely tricky and risky predisposition. This is due to the existing power structure that on must be willing to adhere to. Being able to turn the disadvantage that comes with such a regime takes time and patience. One of the ways that one can gain some form of advantage is by gaining favor with the existing regime and forming good relations with the respective leaders.
Armstrong, M. B. (2002). Ethical Issues in Accounting: The Blackwell guide to business ethics. Oxford: Blackwell
Boldrin, M.; Levine, D. K. (2008).Against Intellectual Monopoly.Cambridge University Press.
Koehn, D. (2002). Ethical Issues in Human Resources: The Blackwell guide to business ethics. Oxford: Blackwell
Pinnington, A. H.; Macklin, R.; Campbell, T. (2007). Human Resource Management: Ethics and Employment. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Singer, J. W. (2000). Entitlement: The Paradoxes of Property: New Haven: Yale University Press.
Compare and contrast the totalitarian regimes of Germany and the Soviet Union Essay
The concept of totalitarian regimes emerged especially in Europe between the two world wars. Totalitarian regime is in essence a form of contemporary dictatorial government whereby it aims at dominating in all societal aspects in an attempt to control all or most phases of public and private life of its population. The regime does this mainly through the use of the state’s propaganda, terror and inflicting fear in addition to using technology such as media.
Totalitarianism attempts to manipulate the thoughts, beliefs, and views of its population by teaching them the value of their bodies more than their brains. It is worth noting that different totalitarian governments have different social and political ambition.
The chief totalitarian states that cropped up between World War I and II were the Soviet Union spearheaded by Stalin, fascist Italy under Mussolini, and Nazi Germany headed by Hitler. This section of this paper will attempt to compare and contrast totalitarian regimes of Germany and the Soviet Union.
Some of the similarities included having a party. The two regimes had one political party that normally suppressed all the others claiming to represent the interest of the vast majority of their population. In addition to that, both had ideologies such as Nazism and Marxism which were to be official doctrines to be observed by all.
Furthermore, the two totalitarian regimes had only one very powerful leader in that; Hitler in Germany and Lenin and Stalin in Soviet Union. Other similarities between the two regimes included a centralized economy, controlled communication as well as use of excessive force to the opposition.
On the other hand, the two regimes had slight differences. Notably was on the issue of ideologies. While Hitler of Germany believed in the ideology of Nazism, Starling of Soviet Union believed in the ideology of Marxism. Additionally, while the Marxism Soviet Union discouraged private enterprise, the Nazi Germany allowed it. Thirdly, while Nazi ideologies rejected all the traditions of the 19th and early 20th century, the Marxism Soviet Union accommodated them.
Holocaust was basically an ideology or a system that was sponsored by the Nazi regime with an aim of persecuting and murdering the Jews who lived in Germany. The Germans felt that they were racially superior and deemed the other races an inferior and threat to “German racial community.” This was contradiction with the objectives of the enlightenment which was committed to compassionate human ideals, cosmopolitan citizenship as well as the spirit of tolerance.
The legacy of world war II
The aftermath of the World War II brought about mixed reactions from massive casualties to rising to superiority. To begin with, it is said that more than 50 million people died in war and that then war had the largest migration of people ever. In addition United States as well as the Soviet Union became the world superpowers in that US came up with an atomic bomb while the soviet union had was said to have trained the largest army in the world.
Furthermore, the war made disintegration of European‘s overseas empires. For instance, Britain lost India, Syria and Lebanon gained their independence from France. Additionally, United States of America formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1949.
The members of this organization included the armed forces of Portugal, Canada, France, Norway Britain, Italy and later Greece, Turkey and Spain. In reaction to the formation of NATO, the Soviet Union formed the Warsaw Pact which comprised of the armed forces of Soviet Union and its satellites.
Totalitarianism and Soviet Russia Essay
A few years after cessation of the 1st world war, democracy was viewed as the best way of governing countries in Europe. During this time, tyrannical governments in “Russia, Germany and Austria” were brought down and substituted with republics (Shlapentokh 70). As such, all the 7 states formed in Europe were republics in nature and democracy seemed to take its toll.
However, a drastic turn of events occurred and many states which had embraced democracy fell under dictatorship. Only England and France retained democratic type of government (Paul 131). Italy and Germany were thereafter seen as Fascist countries while Russia (Soviet Union) was viewed as a Communist nation.
The official name of Soviet Union was “The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.)” (Shlapentokh 70). Soviet Union extended from “the Baltic and Black Seas to the Pacific Ocean”. The first political party to reign in Russia was Bolshevik party which was led by Vladimir Lenin. Soon after seizing power, the party attuned its strategy in order to agree with citizens’ needs and remain in supremacy. On that note, it changed its name to “Russian Communist Party of the Bolsheviks” during the third month of the year 1918.
In addition, the party leader approved a number of rulings so as to gratify the pressing needs of Russian citizens. This involved donating pieces of land to the poor, allowing employees to take control of industries and permitting people to work for a maximum of eight hours per day (Paul 138). Further, Lenin disclaimed covert agreement and foreign debts although he sought peace with Germany. All these efforts got massive backing from the citizens as their wishes were being realized.
Later on, Vladimir Lenin acknowledged citizens will to hold an election for Constituent assembly. People voted in favor of Social Revolutionaries and Mensheviks while Lenin’s party secured a quarter of all the votes cast (Curtis 197). Following the humiliating defeat, Lenin used the Red Guard to forcibly disband the Assembly thereby gaining temporally control over the situation although some resistance still persisted.
There was more trouble as Lenin signed “Brest-Litovsk peace treaty” with Germany in search of peace where Russia lost big chunks of land and iron deposits (Shlapentokh 79). This made Lenin’s opponents to feel disgruntled and civil war erupted and lasted until 1922. This war was mainly between the white and red Russians although foreign governments, backed by their own reasons, interfered with it in support of white Russians.
The fight was more serious in five locations which included “Caucasus and Southern Russia, in the Ukraine, in the Baltic, in Northern Russia (Murmansk and Archangel) and in Siberia” (Shlapentokh 85). Lenin won the battle due to factors like support from workers, better coordination by his soldiers, and use of psychological torture as well as reorganization of the economy among other reasons.
This was followed by serious famine as farmers lost hope in agriculture. In addition, factory workers lost commitment due to lack of wages and this led to reduced output. Further, trade declined due to disintegration of communication and transport systems.
During this time, “Communist Party of Soviet Union” was the only legalized organization and it proposed the introduction of “local and regional” democratic administrations (Meissner 123). Precisely, party organs at those levels of governance were to be in control in such areas.
Supreme Soviet was the uppermost legislative organ while the senior most executive organ was the ‘Politburo’. The government controlled people through underground policing. The law enforcers in this case would locate political rebels and eject them from the party or charge them for ‘counter-revolutionary’ involvements.
Lenin succumbed to death in 1924 and Joseph Stalin acquired control which he exercised until 1953 when he died. Joseph Stalin acted as a supreme leader between 1929 and 1953. In his era, 3.7million citizens were accused and jailed due to perceived felonies of counter revolution (Meissner 110). This included 0.6 million people who received life jail terms, 0.8 million individuals who were jailed to extradition and 2.4million citizens who were jailed to detention centers and work facilities.
During Stalin’s era, the 2nd world war emerged and the Soviet Union army was found unprepared. To maintain control in the Eastern parts of Europe, the leader organized the “Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Germany on August, 1939”.
A covert treaty handed “Eastern Poland, Finland, and Estonia” to Soviet Union while “Lithuania and Western Poland” were handed to Germany (Paul 150). In September, both the Soviet Union and Germany raided Poland. In the same month, Finland was attacked by the Soviet Union and this led to Emergence of Winter war.
In 1936, the president of Germany, Hitler, condemned “Jewish Communism in My Struggle” and expressed his intention to attack Soviet Union (Curtis 195). This prompted Stalin to seek support from Western democracies. He enticed those nations by giving the constitution to the Russian citizens as a sign of democracy.
Hitler raided Russia in 1941and Stalin’s army put up a brave fight although the Nazi’s were highly advancing. Majority of Russian soldier were captured as war prisoners. Soon, the German army had surrounded Moscow but their surge was effectively checked by “winter and a Soviet counter-offensive” (Shlapentokh 91). Since then, Russian military rescued it land and even captured Berlin in 1945.
Leaders who came after Stalin acted more like socialists than dictators. In Leonid’s era, USSR assault to support Afghanistan was commenced in December of the year 1979. In 1985, the president, Mikhail Gorbachev, tried to resurrect the dying communist regime through minimizing rivalry with US and lowering the level of political hounding.
However, communist principle of centralized ritual management of the financial system was not abandoned. Mikhail’s main guiding principles “were Glasnost -openness, and Perestroika –restructuring” (Meissner 117). However, these policies were ineffective and the fall of USSR was witnessed in 1991. The Russian citizens favored capitalism instead communism.
Poor decisions involving various policies led to disintegration of USSR. These involved poor management of economy, labor force and foreign interactions among others. To date, the relationship between Russia and some western countries is strained. However, Moscow is still trying to recapture its lost glory.
Curtis, M. Totalitarianism. New Jersey: Transaction, Inc., 1987. Print.
Meissner, B. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union: party leadership, organization, and ideology. United States: University of Virginia, 2008. Print.
Paul, Ellen, F. Totalitarianism at the crossroads. United States: Social Philosophy and Policy Center and by Transaction Publisher, 1989. Print.
Shlapentokh, V. A normal totalitarian society: how the Soviet Union functioned and how it collapsed. New York: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 2001. Print.
Assess the view that Rousseau’s social contract is totalitarian Analytical Essay
Many theorists suggest that a family forms the first model of political society. This is mainly because parents are relieved of their duties of caring for children once they reach adulthood. Similarly, children are relieved of complete obedience to their parents at adulthood. Moreover, family bonds and obligations are practically broken. In fact, whatever remains is voluntary. It signifies an opportunity for children to be masters of their own destiny.
This is the basic unit of political society, in which people are born free but everywhere they remain in chain. The expression is according to Rousseau who asserts that modern states have the habit of repressing freedom, which is everyone’s birthright. Moreover, he faults them for neglecting civil freedom, which is the main reason for joining civil society. He therefore believes that legitimate political power can only be achieved through social contract. This paper will assess the view that social contract is totalitarian (Rousseau, 1762 p. 1).
Rousseau’s social contract
According to Rousseau, people are denied freedom, which is their birthright. He therefore believed that for considerable freedom to be exercised in any given society, it requires a legitimate government or political authority. Moreover, this authority must be attained through social contract. It is also quite important to note that the social contract must be accepted by all residents for mutual protection.
In this regard, he defines sovereign as a collective grouping of all individuals of a political society and maintains that it should be taken like an individual. In this sense, as far as an individual has a particular aim or goal in life for his or her best interest, a political society or sovereign have a general will that aims or fights for a common goal. Therefore, as much as the sovereign is absolute in its authority, it also has authority on issues of public interest or concern. In conclusion, Rousseau’s verdict to those who violate social contract is death.
According to Rousseau, an alien lawgiver is mandated with the responsibility of creating abstract as well as general laws. Moreover, it is in these laws that the general will is clearly expressed. In addition, he alludes to the fact that a government is required to perform executive duties along with sovereign in exercising legislative powers. The government is therefore mandated with the responsibility of running day-to-day activities in society. There are several forms of governments namely, monarchy, democracy and aristocracy, among others.
However, the form of government lies heavily on its size. For instance, monarchy is considered as the strongest of all forms of government. Moreover, according to Rousseau, it serves the largest population and is suited for hot climates. He also argues that aristocracies are the best form of government and usually more stable than the rest.
Rousseau also maintains those sovereigns is always distinct from government and therefore are always in constant friction. In this regard, this friction has the propensity of destroying a state. It is therefore important that the state remains healthy for stability and longer reign, which may last centuries.
Rousseau continues by pointing out that citizens implement their sovereignty through periodic and regular meetings. It is quite important to note that rarely does everyone attend these meetings; however, this is necessary for a healthy state. He also insists that use of representatives in these meetings endangers well being of a state especially since the general will cannot be heard.
In essence, he thinks that citizens should note vote for their personal needs, rather they should do so in the interest of general will. Furthermore, results attained from these votes ought to approach unanimity. This is where the rule of supermajority links as it ensures that the general will is heard. Rousseau uses an example of Roman republic to sink his view of social contract and the concept of general will.
Social Contract can thus be defines as an agreement that enables an individual to join a civil society. It therefore binds that individual into society or community that exists in the interest of communal protection. In this respect, such individuals loose the right to do whatever they want albeit they get civil freedom, which allows them to act and think morally and rationally. Therefore, Rousseau maintains that we can achieve human status by going into social contract (Schwartzberg, 2008, p. 403-423).
The general Will
Rousseau uses the concept of general will to assert his argument on a legitimate political society. He believes that a general will can only be achieved through inclusion of all members of society. This is contradictory to the current practices where representatives are elected to vote on behalf of citizens. He believes that this form of law making is contradictory to the needs of a people and therefore acts to serve personal needs and not the general will.
In this regard, he defines general will, as that will of sovereign, which aims at achieving a common good even though each member of a society is known to have his/her will. This is not expressed in the general will. In fact, general will express the will of a state, which covers everyone.
No wonder, he insists that everyone should be involved in such decisions since representatives may at times forward their own personal interests as is witnessed all over the world’s democracies. The general will is thus described as will of all, which can refer to the sum total of individual will.
However, this is only possible in a healthy state. In a state experiencing friction between sovereign and government, the general will differs from will of all. This is mainly because what is known to be general will, may sometimes be infiltrated by personal interests at the highest levels. This causes jittery and animosity between sovereign and government and may lead to fall of a state. General will is therefore very important and must concur with will of all, in order to achieve a healthy state (Schwartzberg, 2008, p. 403-423).
There are several forms of governments in the contemporary world. These include democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy, among others. According to Rousseau, the form of government depends on its size. For example, monarchy is considered as strongest of all the various forms of government.
Furthermore, he maintains that Monarchy serves the largest population and is suitable for hot climates. In addition, Rousseau argues that aristocracies are the best form of government, which last for centuries. Rousseau faults modern democracies for demeaning their subjects and sovereign. For instance, modern democracies have representatives that are supposed to enact laws on behalf of citizens. However, this is not entirely true.
In fact, while some legislators go for their own interests, other push for ideologies over and above what their constituents want. This has caused jittery and acrimony in most countries with continual replacement of representatives during elections. Nonetheless, it continues to haunt them, as the trend of presenting personal thoughts continues.
Rousseau tries to determine the possibility of achieving freedom, as it should be and not in its present form where self interest takeover power and utilize it, as they want. In fact, it is for this reason that he goes for concurrence between the general will and will of all.
However, current democracies do not offer such provisions. In fact, they claim that Rousseau’s theories are impracticable in modern world and require an ideal world that can heed to most people’s wants. In essence, as much as democracy tries to achieve concurrence in issues and freedom, it fails to reach its minimum threshold in Rousseau’s view (Estlund, Waldron, Grofman & Feld, 1989, p. 1317-1340).
Will of all refers to the total sum of all individuals will. When this total sum or will of all exceeds other factors, it can be described as a simple majority. In essence, a simple majority may encompass many variables but only the winner is taken as absolute even if the sum total of other losers exceeds that of the winner. However, this is quite different from super majority. In fact, this is where the will of all can be achieved in Rousseau’s view.
Therefore, super majority can only be achieved if the winner exceeds the sum total of all other losers. In this respect, it may be right to say that general will concurs with will of all if it is represented by a super majority. According to Rousseau, general will, must approach unanimity for it to be inclusive of all participants. This can only be achieved through votes that make up for a super majority. Some theories have however, linked Rousseau’s view on votes with epismestic reasons (Cohen, 1986, p. 257-297).
This discussion is aimed at assessing whether Rousseau’s social contract is totalitarian. According to Rousseau’s social contract, people should be guided by a general will attained through super majority votes. In light of this, it can be a wonderful system of government if everyone has the same line of thought.
However, this is not the case in modern world, where capitalism makes people unequal. To some extent, it can apply in an aristocratic form of government where everyone seems to know where they belong and therefore gives up their freedom to a stronger power. The mere fact that one gives up his or her right to a general will, which may at times differ from the will of all, makes it dependent the executive.
However, this has proven to be a failure even though it acts to achieve common goals. The Romans used a similar system and it helped them achieve most of their goals. However, it denied basic rights to captives as well as citizens. To this extent, I can say that Rousseau’s social contract is totalitarian.
Furthermore, the fact that those who do not follow social contract are punishable by death makes it totalitarian. True liberty can be achieved through freedom. This allows creativity and innovation, among others. Designing basic line of thought, behavior and action can act to deny deserving people their right to participation in critical activities. Moreover, the states agenda should be well represented in the community, with the possibility of letting variant views to prove their worth.
Besides, it is not true that majority are always right. In fact, it has been shown beyond doubt that geniuses are very few, and this is same for significant ideologies. This is mainly because general will, may suffer from group psychology, which at times renders critical analysis useless. In this sense, use of Rousseau’s social contract in a state is likely to skew them towards a totalitarian government (Cohen, 1986, p. 257-297).
Different regimes have emerged over the years. However of great concern is the links between authoritarian and totalitarian regimes. Authoritarian regimes are those that dictate what its subject does. In this sense, orders are channeled from the executive for people to follow. It is quite important to note that totalitarian regimes usually rule by amassing total support from all its citizens.
This is usually achieved through many ways, some of which include threatening their lives and propaganda, among others. In this regard, it is essential to note that totalitarian rule may be detrimental to society especially if infiltrated by personal needs of those tasked with exercising government duties.
This is mainly because people come from different backgrounds, cultures and lines of thought. It is therefore impossible for them to think in the same line and submit completely to a super majority general will. This has the propensity of denying some people their right to thoughts and freedom of speech, among others (Rousseau, 1762 p. 1).
I tend to think that Rousseau’s social contract is inclined towards a totalitarian government. This is mainly because people have different views in life. Therefore forcing them to give up their right to some government without credibility of sustaining such rights can lead to totalitarian government. Most regimes that run totalitarian government claim to derive support from all their subjects. This has led to conflicts when it matures.
For instance, Libyan governments as well as those of the Far East like China and North Korea tend to skew towards totalitarian government. However, they claim to have majority support from people who suffer daily to make ends meet. It is quite necessary to note that such regimes usually come as result of social contract. They may begin in an exceptional manner but later on turn into totalitarian government.
In other words, Rousseau’s social contract is closely linked to a totalitarian government than the freedom it claims to provide. This is because people have different views due to varying backgrounds. Therefore, tying them to a common goal, which may be one person’s interest, denies them their basic freedom of choice.
Moreover, not everyone has the capacity to understand common goals of a state. In most cases, the elite propose such ideologies based on their interests, which may be to exploit others. Rousseau’s social contract is therefore skewed towards a totalitarian government (Levine, 2002, p. 28).
According to Rousseau, people are denied their birthright, which is freedom. In this regard, he suggests a legitimate political authority, which comes to power through social contract. This, he believes would provide the freedom that people deserves. Social contract is an agreement that enables an individual to join civil society. It therefore binds the individual into society in the interest of communal protection.
However, this is tantamount to totalitarian rule since everyone is bound completely to one solid government. Besides, human nature states that people differ in thoughts, needs, and ideologies, among others. Social contract therefore has the propensity to deny them the right of choice hence leading to a totalitarian government (Rousseau, 1762 p. 1).
Cohen, J 1986, ‘Reflections on Rousseau: Autonomy and Democracy’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol.15, No.3, pp. 257-297.
Estlund, DM Waldron, J Grofman, B & Feld, SL 1989, ‘Democratic Theory and the Public Interest: Condorcet and Rousseau Revisited’, American Political Science Review, Vol.83, No.4, pp. 1317-1340.
Levine, A 2002, Engaging Political Philosophy: From Hobbes to Rawls, Blackwell, Oxford.
Rousseau, JJ 1762, The Social Contract or Principles of Political Right, Translated by G. D. H. Cole. Available from: <http://www.constitution.org/jjr/socon.htm>.
Schwartzberg, M 2008, ‘Voting the General Will: Rousseau on Decision Rules’, Political Theory, Vol.36, No.3, pp. 403-23.